We don’t idle well. Most of our trips involve weeks of planning, bags full of gear and curious destinations. Even the weekend jaunts to Tahoe are an exercise in tactical recreation. But we love it. We take advantage of the time we have to explore. Since we’ve been together, I can remember few vacations that were totally dedicated to rest and relaxation. There was just a week in Belize (our honeymoon) and another in St. John that were genuinely slothful.

So it was with mild amusement that we found ourselves planning a short vacation with no plans beyond relaxing as a family. We aimed for somewhere we hadn’t been, and a friend suggested Avila Beach on the Central Coast. It’s a damn quaint place with a pier and a promenade, a farmer’s market and a petting zoo. The ice cream selection is fine and crowds are limited. We rented a house, spent time at the beach and generally took it easy.

A side trip to Santa Maria to sample the famous Tri-Tip was well worth the drive. Another to San Luis Obispo made us wonder why it had taken so long to visit. Serendipity drove me an hour south to check an item off my life list: the night launch of an Atlas V from Vandenberg AFB.

Five days of rest. Where next?

More photos from the trip on Flickr.